On A Night like This
I do not know how to stay.
My body becomes a soaked collection of memories.
My shadow stretches out below my feet and stares back at me.
I am sitting by my window
Like I did in the afternoon and saw a bird fly by. And fly back.
And perched by to fight a bird it saw at my window pane.
A girl messages me on WhatsApp.
I check her profile. I meet stance and smile which are the
Same weight of a morning sun.
I check on a friend who called me the other day.
In italics is …is typing a message.
I wait. I wait. I wait.
My shadow gives me a pinch.
I snare at it.
The world seems heavy on my shoulders.
On a night like this I do not know how to stay.
I do not want to know the patterns of forgetting
So my teacher will not look me in the face
To trace bent names she painted already in my heart.
The things written in books she gives my class
Have turned me into fogs. In my sleep, the letters
Say that I am the 27th alphabet with no name; the numbers
Say that I cannot solve its equations or find x or find y.
There is verbal reasoning. There is quantitative reasoning.
Two spaces filled in the belly of my backpacks.
But the butterfly in my arm draws itself in landscapes.
And there I go and spread myself in canvasses of my paintings.
About the author
Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto (@ChinuaEzenwa) is from Owerri-Nkworji in Nkwerre, Imo state, and a lover of literature. He has won the Association Of Nigerian Author’s Literary Award for Mazariyya Ana Teen Poetry Prize, 2009; Speak to the Heart Inc. Poetry Competition, 2016. He became a runner-up in Etisalat Prize for Literature, Flash fiction, 2014 with I Saved My Marriage. Recently, he won the Castello di Duino Poesia Prize for an unpublished poem, 2018. And some of his works have appeared in Lunaris Review, AFREADA, Kalahari Review, Praxismagazine and Elsewhere.